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2022 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper mock draft has the Dallas Cowboys improving at edge rusher in round one

Our first look at Mel Kiper’s mock draft for the Cowboys for 2022.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

There are over three months between this moment and the 2022 NFL Draft, and if history is any indicator they will go by rather slow. Nobody enjoys the offseason except for the team who hoists the Lombardi Trophy, but the teams who see their season end in bitter ways hate it a little bit more than the rest. Unfortunately, as Dallas Cowboys fans we are part of the latter group.

Ultimately, though, the draft will be the point of the offseason where the Cowboys will most seriously address their roster needs given that they are notoriously shy in free agency. Dallas holds the 24th overall pick in the draft and one new mock draft has them spending it along the edge.

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has the Dallas Cowboys selecting George defensive end Travon Walker

The Cowboys have a lot of decisions to make before external free agency and the draft come around as they have to figure out which of their own players they want to retain. One of their pending free agents is defensive end Randy Gregory who had a quality season (but not a quality playoff game) and is likely going to be coveted by a few teams.

Whether or not the Cowboys retain Gregory remains to be seen, but perhaps Mel Kiper is operating as if they will not. In his latest mock, Kiper has the Cowboys selecting Georgia defensive end Travon Walker.

24 Dallas Cowboys

Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

Dallas had a disappointing playoff exit, but it still has a lot of young talent, led by do-it-all rookie linebacker Micah Parsons. The organization, however, has looming decisions on several free agents, including Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, Connor Williams, Leighton Vander Esch and Jayron Kearse. That means we’re going to know in March who the Cowboys have prioritized as guys to bring back and which positions will actually be needs by the time the draft rolls around in late April. Every team covets edge rushers, though.

Walker, whom McShay recently called “one of the most underrated prospects in the class,” stands out every time I watch the loaded Georgia defense. He can blow up tackles at the point of attack, and he has the physical traits to chase down ball carriers in the run game. At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, he has some scheme versatility at the next level.

Randy Gregory is not the only defensive end on the Cowboys who is set to hit the open market as Dorance Armstrong is as well. One would imagine that if the former does leave that the team will at least keep the latter around, but they would obviously have room for someone like Walker to join in the rotation.

Walker is part of the Georgia Bulldogs who won this past season’s National Championship and he was actually celebrated for an under-the-radar play in the all-important title game.

Would you be happy with this pick?